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Super PAC Men: How political consultants took a Fort Worth oilman on a wild ride

The head of a Texas oil dynasty joined the parade of wealthy political donors, aiming to flip the Senate to Republicans. By the time consultants were done with him, the war chest was drained and fraud allegations were flying

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Bridge collapse on I-35 north of Austin

SALADO, Texas (AP) — Emergency crews are responding to a reported bridge collapse along an interstate in Central Texas.

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Bon Appétit: New French restaurant dishes out the finest in Fort Worth

Barely open six months, Le Cep, a contemporary French restaurant proffering fine dining, is stirring up Fort Worth’s culinary scene.

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Latin-inspired restaurant set to open in downtown Fort Worth

Downtown Fort Worth’s dining scene is about to get spicier with the opening of a new restaurant featuring Latin-inspired coastal cuisine.

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Amazon begins Prime Now program in Dallas area

If you just have to have it now, as in one hour, you can, at least in the Dallas area, as Inc. announced Thursday it will offer Prime Now.

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Nonprofit Matters: United Way revenues up

United Way revenue increases 11 percent
United Way of Tarrant County raised $33,750,115 in total revenue in 2013-2014, marking an 11 percent increase over the previous year.
The revenue total includes just more than $4 million from a grant received for a statewide consortium led by United Way to hire a network of navigators to explain to eligible uninsured Texans their health coverage options through the Health Insurance Marketplace.
Sixty-one percent, or $20,500,000, of the total revenue came from the United Way workplace campaign that ran from September to May. During the campaign, volunteers solicited donations at hundreds of Tarrant County workplaces. Leading the campaign and making history were father-son volunteer co-chairmen Charlie and James Powell.
“Every campaign year has its challenges, but I’m amazed to see the individuals and companies of Tarrant County continue to step up and support others whose lives are enriched and improved through the services of United Way,” said Charlie Powell, president of the Bank of Texas, Fort Worth Region.
In addition to underwriting United Way’s efforts to advance education, financial stability and health, the funds raised will support partner agency programs, the 2-1-1 information and referral service, Area Agency on Aging programs and homelessness services in Fort Worth.
The campaign’s four top companies in overall giving were: BNSF Railway Co., $2.46 million; Alcon Laboratories Inc., $1.90 million; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics, $1.05 million; and Bell Helicopter Textron, $792,500.

Grand Homes starts new Home for Hope
Construction began May 21 on Grand Homes’ fifth charity Home for Hope locally built as part of its effort to help end poverty globally. – photo --
The local charity home is in Roanoke, at 15580 Yarberry Dr. in Grand Homes’ Chadwick Farms community off Cleveland Gibbs Road and south of Texas 114.
Each Home for Hope is built with donated or discounted labor, materials and services to help secure a large donation upon the sale of the home. The donation will benefit HOPE International, a microfinance network providing microloans to entrepreneurs in poor countries so they may start or expand their small business. The idea is to create a steady income that will lift their families out of poverty.
The house, which is priced between $250,000 and $300,000, can be purchased at any phase of construction, according to Stephen Brooks, CEO and owner of Grand Homes.
“Grand Homes has always supported, and will continue to support, many local charities to benefit communities in which we build. Homes for Hope allows us to have an impact beyond our own community to help eliminate poverty in areas of need throughout the world,” Brooks said.
Founded in 1987, Grand Homes is based in Addison and has more than 35 communities in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Levinson signs three-year extension
After a successful first season as artistic director of the Chamber Music Society of Fort Worth, Gary Levinson -- photo -- has accepted a three-year extension on his contract from the organization’s board.
In addition to expanding the society’s programming and audience, Levinson has been involved in education outreach while acting as an ambassador for the nonprofit by meeting with potential donors and community leaders.
With the theme “Voices of the Golden Age,” the society’s 2014-2015 concert season will include works that have not been played here for several years and will feature internationally renowned artists. The season opens Sept. 20, followed by concerts on Oct. 18, Nov. 15, Jan. 3, Feb. 21, March 21 and April 18.
All concerts will be in the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth except the Jan. 3 concert, which will be in the Renzo Piano Pavilion of the Kimbell Art Museum.
More detail on the concerts, artists and tickets is available at the society’s website,

FitWorth rebrands, moves to new digs
The FitWorth Healthy City Initiative that promotes the health of Fort Worth residents has a new look, a new director and a new permanent location.
The program was begun in September 2012 and developed by Mayor Betsy Price and the Fort Worth City Council under the auspices of the Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund. It now has a new home under a separate 501(c)(3) entity, Foundation for Wellness, Texas.
The new organization is chaired by former FitWorth Program Director Leslie Casey and housed in partnership with the University of North Texas Health Science Center on its campus at 3500 Camp Bowie Blvd.
“Our mission is to create solutions for a healthier community and providing FitWorth with a permanent home and access to the Health Science Center’s educational, research and care resources makes perfect sense,” said UNTHSC President Michael Williams.
Kate Blackburn, former public relations and public affairs coordinator for Catholic Charities Fort Worth, has been named FitWorth program director.

And the funds go to …
The Community Foundation of North Texas, along with several philanthropic partners, awarded more than $300,000 in grants to 24 area nonprofits through its ToolBox Grants: Giving Children the Tools to Succeed program. The program, now in its fourth year and second cycle, is focused on improving the quantity, quality and accessibility of early learning opportunities for children age 0-8. The program offers Tarrant County-based nonprofits the resources to build capacity in outreach, quality improvement, leadership and coordination. … The Texas Rangers Park Place Dealerships Play Game Show Spectacular on May 18 raised more than $725,000, a record in the 12-year history of the event. A sellout crowd of more than 600 attended Triple Play at the Hilton Anatole Dallas for the Texas Rangers Baseball Foundation’s largest fundraiser of the year. … Wells Fargo presented Trinity Habitat for Humanity a $75,000 check to invest in Arlington and Fort Worth. The money will be used to build a home in Fort Worth and one in Arlington through Habitat’s Build a Home program. Wells Fargo also donated the lot for the Arlington Habitat home. …Participating schools in Mansfield, Grand Prairie, Cedar Hill, DeSoto and Athens school districts received $520,213 from Texas Trust Credit Union’s Spirit Debit Reward program. The program ran from August 2011 to March 2014. Each school has a custom-designed debit card. Schools receive 15 cents each time their debit card is used to make a purchase. So far in 2014, the schools have earned $77,826, compared with the first quarter of 2013 when they earned $50,141. The 2013 total was $257,966. … Council for Life presented the Gladney Center for Adoption in Fort Worth and Buckner Children and Family Services in Dallas with a combined contribution of $80,000 collected from the nonprofit’s 5K Run for Life on April 19. … The United Family, parent company of Market Street, made donations totaling $38,000 to local Project Graduation celebrations, providing students with safe graduation parties. Area schools benefiting from the donation include Grapevine-Colleyville, McKinney, Frisco, Allen, Coppell, Bonham, Prosper and Plano. This year’s total contribution exceed last year’s by $8,000.

Send nonprofit news to Betty Dillard at


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